Category Archives: News

Step Studies

When we come into the rooms of recovery we quickly learn about the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions.

We hear there are “suggestions”, but it turns out they are really “Musts”.  In fact, there are over 103 in the AA Big Book. Read more

What about the Bleeding Deacon and Elder Statesman?  I know personally, that I am very guilty of being a “control freak” and behave like a baby if I do not get my way.

Bleeding Deacon – In the context of a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous, a bleeding deacon is someone in the group who is overly preachy and considers themselves to be the lone voice of reason and source of wisdom. In the eyes of the bleeding deacon, the group would fall apart without them.

Elder Statesman – an old, experienced, and eminent person, a politician, whose advice is often sought

12&12  Tradition Two, p.135  Read more


Besides the 12&12, Roy K. describes his interpretation of the 12 Steps in the SA White Book.

The 12:00 pm SAPhoneMeeting hosts a regular Step Study meeting every Tuesday afternoon.  There are also other Step meetings throughout the week (e.g. Wednesday, 7:00 AM ET) that read from “Step into Action”

7:00 AM
Wed
712-432-0600
61-2034
Script

 

Lastly, the SA SanDiego group also has an online series of readings available => Click here


On Tue 12/9 we will be reading from the White Book, Step 12 pg. 145 “accentuate positive”

Am I a peacemaker?

Tradition One: Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.

1. Am I in my group a healing, mending, integrating person, or am I divisive? What about gossip and taking other members’ inventories?

2. Am I a peacemaker? Or do I, with pious preludes such as “just for the sake of discussion,” plunge into argument?

3. Am I gentle with those who rub me the wrong way, or am I abrasive?

Read More

Life on Life’s Terms

Today is going to be a productive day.  I woke up early and went into work to finish preparing for class. I started a new job recently as a teacher and it is a lot of work preparing lesson plans and mastering the subject matter.

Meanwhile, I came home yesterday and was taken off my game by my Mother-n-law.  She can be very judgmental and cynical at times and made me feel low.  I too can judge others and I’m convinced this is a normal human reaction.  However, I also believe “hurt people, hurt people”.  What I say to another person can be damaging.

3 Now aif we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well.

4 Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.

“So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it a boasts of great things. And a the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of a deadly poison.” James 3

God, thank you for helping me stay clean, sober and free of lust as best as possible all of these days in a row (40).  Please help me not take a drink, drug or masturbate, just for today.

Synchronicity

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, where they are unlikely to be causally related. The subject sees it as a meaningful coincidence. The concept of synchronicity was first described by Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist, in the 1920s.
AitH_0523

Today is off to a good start.  I woke up and headed to the “Wake Up AA Group”.  There is an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Severna Park, MD not far from my house that meets daily @ 6:00 AM.

On the way home, I checked-in to Sexaholics Anonymous on the 7:30 AM DSR teleconference meeting. Notice the coincidence?

If that’s not clear, I’ll share another story.  Yesterday, my 10 year old daughter was walking around the house singing “Leaving on a Jet Plane“.  I quickly pulled up my favorite songs from www.grooveshark.com and played John Denver’s hit song.  Then found a nice YouTube video of him singing with Cass Elliot (click here).

I explained to my daughter that John Denver practically wrote how he would die in this song, because of a plane wreck he piloted.  In her innocence, she asked, “what happened to Cass?”.

Here’s another example, Dr. Carl Jung wrote a Letter To Bill Wilson in 1961.  He said, “I had no news from Roland H. anymore and often wondered what has been his fate”.  As most of you know, Bill W. is the founder of AA and Roland was a close friend of Bill who was very influential in the pioneering days.  Read more

BTW, today Monday, May 26, 2014 is Memorial Day.  There were a Grand Total 2,717,991 deaths from 1775–present.  Read more

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD)

The other day I was having coffee at Starbucks with a pigeon of mine (AA sponsee) and he told me that he had Hepatitis C.  Immediately, I thought about my experience with STDs.  It turned out that he contracted the disease due to drinking not sex.  He was a chronic Alcoholic that has been coming to AA much longer than I (since 80’s).

I felt so sad for him and so grateful for myself.  There but for the grace of God go I.  In fact, moments before he disclosed this to me, we were hanging out in the parking lot after the Captains Table meeting.  He said, “things had gotten so bad that he was sleeping in his car”.  So, I suggested meeting around the corner at Starbucks and bought him a cup of coffee.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD), also referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STI) and venereal diseases (VD), are illnesses that have a significant probability of transmission between humans by means of sexual behavior, including vaginal intercourse, anal sex and oral sex. Some STIs can also be contracted by using IV drug needles after their use by an infected person, as well as through any incident involving the contact of a wound with contaminated blood or through childbirth or breastfeeding.

When I lived at the beach in Ocean City, MD I contracted crabs from a woman who was dirty, yet my disease of sex addiction was so strong I did not care.  I later found out from my father that you could eliminate those little critters crawling around using Bengay cream.  Oooch.  It hurt, but it cleared it right up.  Thanks Dad.

Sexually transmitted infections have been well known for hundreds of years, and venereology is the branch of medicine that studies these diseases. While in the past, these illnesses have mostly been referred to as STDs or VD, in recent years the term sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has been preferred, as it has a broader range of meaning; a person may be infected, and may potentially infect others, without having a disease.

Towards the end of my alcoholic history, I remember going to the clinic to get a blood test about every couple weeks.  I also remember the doctor telling me, “you just had the test done less than 3 months ago and there is no point getting tested again”.  In other words, I was so petrified that I caught HIV, that I wanted to make sure.  Fortunately, I always tested “Negative”.  Thank God.

There are 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections every year in the United States, and, in 2005, the World Health Organization estimated that 448 million people aged 15–49 were being infected a year with curable STIs (such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia).  Read more

Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict

In the third edition of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book (since 1976), Paul O. writes the following:

“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” He forgot to mention that I was the chief critic. I was always able to see the flaw in every person, every situation. And I was always glad to point it out, because I knew you wanted perfection, just as I did. A.A. and acceptance have taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us; that we are all children of God and we each have a right to be here. When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining about God’s handiwork. I am saying that I know better than God.

For years I was sure the worst thing that could happen to a nice guy like me would be that I would turn out to be an alcoholic. Today I find it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. This proves I don’t know what’s good for me. And if I don’t know what’s good for me, then I don’t know what’s good or bad for you or for anyone. So I’m better off if I don’t give advice, don’t figure I know what’s best, and just accept life on life’s terms, as it is today – especially my own life, as it actually is. Before A.A. I judged myself by my intentions, while the world was judging me by my actions.

Acceptance has been the answer to my marital problems. It’s as though A.A. had given me a new pair of glasses. Max and I have been married now for thirty-five years. Prior to our marriage, when she was a shy, scrawny adolescent, I was able to see things in her that others couldn’t necessarily see – things like beauty, charm, gaiety, a gift for being easy to talk to, a sense of humor, and many other fine qualities. It was as if I had, rather than a Midas touch which turned everything to gold, a magnifying mind that magnified whatever it focused on. Over the years as I thought about Max , her good qualities grew and grew, and we married, and all these qualities became more and more apparent to me, and we were happier and happier.

But then as I drank more and more, the alcohol seemed to affect my vision: Instead of continuing to see what was good about my wife, I began to see her defects. And the more I focused my mind on her defects, the more they grew and multiplied. Every defect I pointed out to her became greater and greater. Each time I told her she was a nothing, she receded a little more into nowhere. The more I drank, the more she wilted.

Then, one day in A.A., I was told that I had the lenses in my glasses backwards; “the courage to change” in the Serenity Prayer meant not that I should change my marriage, but rather that I should change myself and learn to accept my spouse as she was. A.A. has given me a new pair of glasses. I can again focus on my wife’s good qualities and watch them grow and grow and grow.

I can do the same thing with an A.A. meeting. The more I focus my mind on its defects -late start, long drunkalogs, cigarette smoke – the worse the meeting becomes. But when I try to see what I can add to the meeting, rather than what I can get out of it, and when I focus my mind on what’s good about it, rather than what’s wrong with it, the meeting keeps getting better and better. When I focus on what’s good today, I have a good day, and when I focus on what’s bad, I have a bad day. If I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases.

Today Max and I try to communicate what we feel rather than what we think. We used to argue about our differing ideas, but we can’t argue about our feelings. I can tell her she ought not to think a certain way, but I certainly can’t take away her right to feel however she does feel. When we deal in feelings, we tend to come to know ourselves and each other much better.

(This famous personal story formerly page 449 in the Big Book moved to PART II – They Stopped in Time, now appearing on page 417. Read more)

Office of National Drug Control Policy

The Obama Administration is committed to restoring balance to U.S. drug-control efforts… As part of national efforts to raise public awareness about recovery and maintain dialogue with diverse recovery community stakeholders, ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske visited the General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) in New York City. Read more

Prior to meeting with the A.A.W.S. Board, Director Kerlikowske toured the A.A. Archives, which feature letters from U.S. presidents recognizing Alcoholics Anonymous for helping countless Americans regain health and happiness through its program of recovery from alcoholism. The archive also features the Lasker Award, presented to A.A. in 1951 by the American Public Health Association “in recognition of its unique and highly-successful approach to … alcoholism;” and a copy of the Hughes Act, the 1970 Congressional Bill that recognized alcoholism as “an illness or disease that requires treatment.” The bill also provided for the establishment of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and was followed by legislation leading to the creation of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Step Eight

“Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

“We might next ask ourselves what we mean when we say that we have “harmed” other people. What kinds of “harm” do people do one another, anyway? To define the word “harm” in a practical way, we might call it the result of instincts in collision, which cause physical, mental, emo­tional, or spiritual damage to people. If our tempers are consistently bad, we arouse anger in others. If we lie or cheat, we deprive others not only of their worldly goods, but of their emotional security and peace of mind. We really issue them an invitation to become contemptuous and vengeful. If our sex conduct is selfish, we may excite jealousy, misery, and a strong desire to retaliate in kind.”  (AA 12&12 pg. 80)

Today, I attended an AA meeting and came to the awareness that I frequently offend people unintentionally.

BTW, I found a couple sites you may enjoy including FREE mp3 downloads of the 12&12 audio, as well as editable versions of the book you can copy and print:

Mute Feature

Meeting Guidelines

Fortunately, Roy K. wrote down many of the Meeting Guidelines in the SA White Book page 188.  For example, “We can benefit from the unwritten guidelines that have contributed so profoundly to the success of other Twelve Step program meetings and have proven as valuable in our own.

  1. “Leaders of meetings are servants of that meeting. They don’t “carry” the meeting; they merely facilitate it. A common mistake of   those who have no prior Twelve Step meeting experience is to feel they must comment on everything that is said or “help out” in some way by giving “the answer.” The effective leader surrenders this impulse   and lets the meeting work itself.
  2. The leader of the meeting does not have to acknowledge a raised hand; he   or she can call on someone else. They can interrupt the one talking, if it is called for. This is in line with our common tradition. At the same time, a good meeting is one where the leader’s presence is inconspicuous and  non-controlling.”

 

Phone Etiquette

Be courteous.   Please mute your phone if there is background noise at your location and when   you are not speaking. It is recommended to use the mute feature on your phone if there is background noise at your location and when you are not speaking.  You can toggle back-n-forth between sharing & silence your line which will allow others to hear the message more clearly.

Our phone system offers an alternative command by pressing *6 to Mute or Un-mute. The phone system will give you an audio acknowledgement. To hear the # of parties in the conference press *#.  For a complete list of commands, visit www.freeconference.com/HotkeyList.aspx.  It is also helpful if you can keep track of your name in the order of callers and introduce the person that follows you when done sharing.  This helps keep the call moving in an orderly fashion and reduced dead air.  For more information, visit Toastmasters to get some additional hints & tips.

 

Features and Benefits

With any system, there are often many features that don’t get used.  Relatively speaking, the Sexaholics Anonymous Phone Meetings are slightly behind some of the other 12 Step Fellowships.  If you compare us to Alanon (www.alanonphonemeetings.org) or GreySheeters Anonymous (www.greysheet.org) for example, they often average more than 80 callers on the line (5 times the amount we normally get).  Both of these teleconferences have strict governance and traditions that prohibit the use of cross talk or background noise that is disruptive to the call.

In August 2012, the Virtual Intergroup (GSRs elected by each phone meeting) decided to distribute the “Call Organizer Access Code” (also known as the moderator code) amongst trusted servants to help carry the message of Sexaholics Anonymous around the globe.  This allowed the facilitator or secretary to eliminate the background noise when callers inadvertently would call in and fail to mute their line by mistake.

Here are the main Sexaholics Anonymous Phone Meeting Features:

  • Organizer Access Code (OAC) – This code is entered by the conference Organizer in order to join a conference. It allows the Organizer to access enhanced conference controls. The OAC can be given to any or all Participants who will be given Organizer privileges.
  • Conversation Mode – This mode provides an open, un-muted conference in which all Participants can speak freely. This mode works best for small groups of conferees. At any time during a conference, conference Organizers can switch between Conversation Mode, Question and Answer (Q&A) Mode and Presentation Mode by toggling the *7 on the telephone keypad.
  • Q&A Mode – This mode allows Participants to un-mute themselves, permitting a ‘question and   answer’ or interactive session to be held during a conference call. This mode is accessible to those who provide the OAC when entering a conference. At any time during a conference, conference Organizers can switch between Q&A Mode, Presentation Mode and Conversation Mode by toggling the *7 on the telephone keypad.
  • Presentation Mode – This mode automatically mutes members of the conference call who entered the Participant Access Code, enabling conference Participants to listen without being able to speak to  others on the conference. This mode works best with large groups of conferences for reducing background noise, and is accessible to those who provide the OAC when entering a conference. At any time during a conference, conference Organizers  can switch between Presentation Mode, Conversation Mode and Q&A Mode by toggling the *7 on the telephone keypad.
  • Locking the Conference – This can be used for increased conference security, by preventing   additional Participants from joining the conference, and is accessible by  those who provide the OAC when entering a conference. At any time during a conference,   conference Organizers can lock or unlock the conference by toggling the *5 on the telephone keypad. Note  that if the conference is locked and a Participant is disconnected (e.g. cell   phone) from the conference, the room must first be unlocked before that Participant can rejoin the conference.

This topic has been highly controversial and weighing the advantages and disadvantages is not easy.

PROS CONS
  1. Better quality teleconference
  2. Everyone on the call is able to hear the message clearly
  3. Eliminate frustration and anxiety of feeling heard
  4. Many people innocently join the call and do not realize they are dropping into a live meeting. Thus, there is a disruption on the phone bridge until they realize how and why to mute
  5. Cross talk originated from the communications industry which basically means that you cannot have two conversations at the same time. Today this is very important in networking when you get into half-duplex channels.  Take the walkie talkie for example. When you speak, you first press the microphone button. The receiver waits for the sender to finish before replying. Unfortunately, when addicts come together, all the physical laws go out the window and it becomes a sparring match.
  6. Eliminate the ugly side of human nature that comes out when people are interrupted and self-will forces are in play. In other words, there is something to be said for politeness
  7. Bottom line, it eliminates variability and inconsistency of background
    noise. Telephony troubleshooting methodology suggests reducing the points of failure. When we say the serenity prayer, “courage to change the things we can” we need to remember the wisdom of this simple feature
  1. Thus far, the majority of people consider using the overall mute feature to be more confusing than it’s worth.  In other words, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
  2. Change is more difficult for some especially if they don’t know any better.  Many people are simply not aware of the long history and problems with the phone lines, not to mention having anything else to compare it with.
  3. Using the mute feature forces people to *6 to unmute their line and during the Daily Sobriety Renewal calls, their is a lot more interaction.
  4. Fear of losing control to manipulate the call.  Relinquish power that already exists with some members.
  5. This is a true test of patience and tolerance.  People tend to get very emotional and angry.
  6. Challenge with disseminating the call coordinator code and preventing unsuspecting people getting their hands on this information.
  7. Having a sobriety requirement be a measurement who is responsible enough to be given this special privilege.  As we all know, “length of sobriety is no more an indicator of recovery as old age is an indicator of wisdom” (Recovery Continues).

Women in Sexaholics Anonymous

All meetings are closed and mixed gender unless otherwise specified. The “Women Only” meetings REQUIRE ladies to contact the SA Central Office (callers are screened). Phone toll free (866) 424-8777 or call direct (615) 370-6062.

You may also find it less intimidating attending some other 12 Step Recovery meetings including Alanon.

Thought you might find these websites helpful for those struggling in sexual addiction & recovery:

Pledge “I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of S.A. always to be there